Two goals in the space of 21 seconds helped North West Thunder triumph in a thrilling final of the U16s Girls’ Inter-Regional Championships.
Centre-forward Lucy Davis bagged the brace in the third quarter to set Thunder on their way to a 7-5 victory over Ireland at the Liverpool Aquatics Centre.
It was Thunder’s sixth straight win of the competition, having secured a 100 per cent record in the group stage before defeating West Midlands 15-10 in the semi-final.
Ireland had also won all five of their games heading into the gold medal match, having topped Group A and then beating South West Sharks 12-4 in their last four tie.
Victorious North West Thunder coach Joanne Mountfield said: “Congratulations to our players on a terrific performance in the final and our supporters for creating a fantastic atmosphere.
“Our team consisted of players from seven North West Clubs and it is important to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of their club coaches in this success.
“These tournaments are critical in the development of girls water polo within the Regions, as local league fixtures are still mixed at U16s and it was extremely positive to see seven of the 10 teams being led by female coaches.
“Our thanks go to the event manager, Richard Barnes, and his dedicated team of volunteers and officials who helped to ensure that the event ran smoothly and provided the best possible experience for the players.”
In the bronze medal match, West Midlands took third spot with an 18-10 win over the South West Sharks.
Another exciting game saw East Angels secure a Division One place for the U18s competition following a penalty shootout victory in the 5th-6th play-off match.
Angels goalkeeper Christina English saved two North East Steelers’ penalties to seal a 10-9 success.
Nick Hume, the head coach of the National Academy for the U16s age group, said: “The 2007 Inter-regional tournament was a great success.
“Ten teams, 130 players and 20 plus coaches giving it everything for the sport we all enjoy so much. It was a great opportunity to see all the players in formal competition.
“It’s an excellent indicator of where we are in the players’ development and gives us plenty to work on through the National Academy in Millfield over the summer and for the future.
“Congratulations to the North West, Ireland and West Midlands for their results and to all the players who took part.
“Plus a thank you to all the volunteers, without whom it couldn’t have happened.”
During the competition, the North West Region ran a Club and Regional Table Officials’ Course.
There were 10 candidates from seven clubs and five of them completed their practical assessments and the North West Region thanked the national and International table officials for enabling this to take place.
- Overall MVP: Lucy Blenkinship (North West Thunder)
- Top goalkeeper: Tilly Armer (North West Thunder)
- Top goalscorer: Amélie Perkins (West Midlands)
- North West Thunder: Lucy Blenkinship
- Ireland: Áine Hennessey
- West Midlands: Amélie Perkins
- South West: Georgi Hague
- East Angels: Sofia Galati
- North East Steelers: Millie Richards
- London Sharks: Sophie Schonbach
- East Midlands: Alice Berrill
- South East Anderida: Lily Ross
- Scotland Saltires: Lucy McNair
Fixtures and results
|West Midlands||9 – 9||North East Steelers||FT|
|London Sharks||12 – 2||Scotland Saltires||FT|
|East Angels||6 – 6||South East Anderida||FT|
|East Midlands||3 – 10||South West||FT|
|Ireland||7 – 3||West Midlands||FT|
|North West Thunder||8 – 2||London Sharks||FT|
|South East Anderida||7 – 9||North East Steelers||FT|
|South West||14 – 0||Scotland Saltires||FT|
|East Angels||0 – 5||Ireland||FT|
|East Midlands||3 – 14||North West Thunder||FT|
|West Midlands||13 – 7||South East Anderida||FT|
|London Sharks||2 – 11||South West||FT|
|Ireland||9 – 0||North East Steelers||FT|
|North West Thunder||17 – 0||Scotland Saltires||FT|
|East Angels||3 – 7||West Midlands||FT|
|East Midlands||2 – 2||London Sharks||FT|
|Ireland||9 – 1||South East Anderida||FT|
|North West Thunder||9 – 3||South West||FT|
|North East Steelers||6 – 3||East Angels||FT|
|Scotland Saltires||1 – 15||East Midlands||FT|
Group A Team
|North East Steelers||4||2||1||1||-4||5|
|South East Anderida||4||0||1||3||-16||1|
Group B Team
|North West Thunder||4||4||0||0||40||8|
Play-Off Stage 5th-8th Play-off
|North East Steelers||12 – 8||London Sharks||FT|
|East Midlands||6 – 12||East Angels||FT|
|Ireland||12 – 5||South West Sharks||FT|
|North West Thunder||15 – 10||West Midlands||FT|
|South East Anderida||26 – 7||Scotland Saltires||FT|
|North East Steelers||9 – 10||East Angels||FT|
|London Sharks||12 – 10||East Midlands||FT|
|Bronze Medal Match|
|South West Sharks||10 – 18||West Midlands||FT|
|Gold Medal Match|
|Ireland||5 – 7||North West Thunder||FT|